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News Oct 2022

Bang for your buck – BMW R1150GS, Oct 31


Well under Au$10k (US$6400, GB£5500) will get you a stunner of an example of this, BMW’s R1150GS, in the current market. That’s incredible bang for the buck motorcycling, as it’s a very competent all-rounder with decent performance.

Classic Two Wheels meanwhile has a well of features on the first of the line, the R80G/S, including period road tests.

Flashback: Honda CB400-Four, Oct 30

Honda CB400F

Middleweight gem and arguably a better bike than its 750 big brother.

See the mini-profile.

Arch Ride, Oct 27

Arch motorcycle 1s

Cycle World in the USA has run with this ride impression on the Arch 1s, a new sports model from the bespoke American outfit co-founded by Gard Hollinger and actor Keanu Reeves out of California.
At the heart is a an air-cooled 124ci (2034cc) S&S-sourced V-twin.
A deep wallet will enable you to order a hand-built version, with prices starting at a heady Au$200k (US$128,000, GB£110,000).

See the story here.

See the Arch page here.

Flashback: Heart and Head, Oct 26

Moto guzzi 1000 daytona

Lining up the next toy is as much about stupidity as reason...see the story.

Yamaha stroker legends, Oct 25


A nice little set of circa 1978 Yamaha RD series brochures – see them here.

Ducati Desmo 125, Oct 24

Ducati 125 desmo

Falloon on Ducati's ground-breaking two-pot screamer.

Laverda SF2 – eye candy for the day, Oct 21

Laverda SF2

This circa 1974 Laverda SF2 is a little special. The folk at DAM Racing have gone through the powerplant and brought it up to SFC spec with Dellorto carbs, DMC ignition and head porting by Bruce Woodley.

See the Facebook post here.

And the website here.

(Thanks to Andrew Percy for the tip.)

Triumph Speed Triple take 2, Oct 20

triumph speed triple

Several months down the ownership track, we've put a bit more time into the 1996 Speed Trip and have it pretty well sorted...we hope! See the story here.

Ducati 900SS with 8km – auction watch, Oct 19


This 1976 Ducati 900SS sold via Collecting Cars tonight for $Au$121,000 (US$76,200, GB£67,600). See it here.

What made it so valuable was a claimed 8km on the odo and the exceptional complete condition, including a toolkit with the much-prized original bag.

However unlike most machines that have been used as museum pieces, it had been kept in running condition. According to the seller, it was fired up every three months despite being used as a show piece rather than a ride.

See the Motorcycle Specs backgrounder on this model.

Ducati 916 Senna profile, Oct 18

ducati senna

Ducati's F1 racer tribute had a tragic background. See it here.

Yamaha R1 cafe, Oct 18

R!X cafe racer

This Yamaha R1-based effort is one of the better liquid-cooled inline-four cafe racers we've seen in a long time. Built by Chicago (USA) resident Robert Catanese, it used a 2012 R1 powerplant and ECU, which was wrapped in a custom-built frame.

See the full story here, at Return of the Cafe Racers.

Yamaha R1

We've reached a point where you would think twice about doing this to a first-model R1 (1998-99), as they're now on the collector radar.

That said, there is still some solid value out there. This example via Bikesales got our attention. It's a restored 1999 with 27,400km claimed, for Au$15,000 (US$9400, GB£8300).

See our first-edition R1 profile.

See the Classic Two Wheels period road test.

The Hailwood files, Oct 17

Two Wheels
              Ducatu MHR

Classic Two Wheels has launched a new page featuring a host of material on Ducati's desmo Mike Hailwood replicas. First up is an Ian Falloon summary, followed by two period road tests. It's essential reading of you're in the market for one.

ducati mhr

Speaking of which, this 1981 example has popped up on the market. The seller notes, "It is the real deal, without molestation and the bottom end sounds good."

ducati mhr

Located near the Sunshine coast in Queensland, it's on the market at Au$30,000 (US$18,600, GB£16,600). Tel 0409 855 872.

See the Facebook ad.

How much for the G/S? Oct 13

bmw r80gs

Bonhams has recently sold a 1988 BMW R80G/S Paris-Dakar for Au$71,000 (US$44,600, GB£40,300). The listing had it as being restored to concours standard (not a cheap exercise) by Dutch BMW specialist Theo Terwel.

bmw r80gs

We've seen prices for this model climb in recent times, and this probably sets a new benchmark, particularly for a restoration.

See the listing here.

See the period Classic Two Wheels road test.

Going Commando, Oct 12

                    commando 961

The revived Norton marque, under the auspices of Indian firm TVS, is now opening its order books for a two-bike range of Commandos: the 961SP (Sport) and 961 CR (cafe racer).

Understandably, the company is at pains to point out that some Au$175 million (US$110 million, GB£100 million) has so far been spent on an exercise that included re-engineering the often troubled twins.

Previously the company hit the wall financially and former MD Stuart Garner was found guilty of indulging in some under-handed financial dealing.

TVS Motor Company meanwhile stepped in as the new owner and investor, with pockets deep enough to have a serious go at reviving the brand.

The company has released a couple of videos, including this walk-around with the current CCO Christian Gladwell.

So far the twins have been released only into the UK market, for the 2023 model year, priced at Au$29,800 (US$18,100, GB£16,500) for the SP and Au$29,800 (US$18,600, GB£17,000) for the CR. Deliveries are expected to begin next January.

See the Visor Down  ride impression, here.

norton v4sv

Norton last April released a revised V4SV flagship, built to order at Au$77,000 (US$48,000, GB£44,000). See the Cycle World review.

Norton Commando mk 3

See the 1975 Norton Commando Mark 3 in our shed.

Mixed fortunes for local market, Oct 12

Info moto
              bike sales report

Info Moto reports on interesting times for the local bike market – see the stats and analysis, here.

1983 Honda CB1100F – auction watch, Oct 11


Though sold in good numbers, the survival rate of big CeeBee Hondas of this era seems surprisingly low.

This example is a stand-out, claiming under 1000 miles, and is to be auctioned by Mecum at the giant annual Las Vegas sale-fest next January.

Aside from being dead stock and in apparently great shape, it claims a good folio of paperwork.

Any guesses on what it will fetch? See it here.

One of the engineers behind this Honda CB and Bol d’Or series was Isao Yamanaka, who went on to become project leader for the Blackbird. See his brief portrait at the end of our Blackbird profile.

1981 Suzuki Katana 1100 – today's tempter, Oct 10


The Hans Muth-penned lines of Suzuki’s original Katana series still look dramatic, even if the resultant ride position can be a little challenging on the comfort front.

In 1100 form you’re dealing with the 16-valve air-cooled GSX platform which is ultra tough, easy to maintain and offers huge performance potential.

Handling is pretty typical early 1980s…think gothic.

There are several examples on the market at the moment and this restomod in Victoria is offered at Au$19,500 (US$12,300, UK£11,100).

Blast from the past – Yamaha XS750, Oct 9

yamaha xs750

Also known as the GX750 in wire wheel form, the XS/GX was a ground-breaking four-stroke for Yamaha, as the triple landed it in 'big bike' territory with what was generally a very reliable platform.

It and the later 850 scored mixed reviews over their model life, however they created a lot of happy owners.

See the Yamaha profile.

See the Motorcycle Specs backgrounder, including a contemporary Cycle World test.

Honda VTR1000 SP-1 – today's tempter, Oct 4

hondas vtr1000 sp-1

One of our all-time favourite V-twins is this, Honda’s superbike homologation special, the VTR1000 SP-1.
This example has never been pre-delivered and is showing 1km on the odo. It’s with Bikesales priced at Au$35,000 (US$22,700, GB£20,000). See it here.

Incredibly, there are seven SP-1s for sale on the site.

See our SP-1 and SP-2 profile.

Aprilia Moto 6.5 on the block, Oct 3

aprilia moto 6.5

Love it or hate it? Apparently there is no middle ground with the radical curves on Aprilia's Moto 6.5 of the mid-nineties. An example has come up for auction – see our story.

Gilera 150 - random poster for the day, Oct 2

gilera 150

From the 1957 range of singles.

Earlier news


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